Lanna Kingdom      
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(Text by Duane R. Hurst © 2013)

Click on a link to view its information and pictures.
Significant Event:
    Ayutthaya-Lanna War (1456-1474 AD)
    History of North Thailand

Main Cities: Chiang Mai; Chiang Rai; Chiang Saen; Lampang
Time: 1290-1800 AD
Language: Lanna; Shan; Thai
Personage: Mengrai; Tilokaraj
Religion: Animism; Buddhism
Related Country: Burma; Thailand

Map of Lanna (Chiang Mai) Kingdom
Click Map to Enlarge
Brief History:
      I have included only a few items concerning the history of this kingdom. A good source for more details can be found on Wikipedia or in history books.

PRE-LANNA KINGDOMS: (See my translation of History of North Thailand)
      Yonok Chiang Saen (545 AD on the Kok River) and Sinhanavati kingdoms (757 AD) predated the Hiran Ngoenyang and the Lanna kingdoms of modern Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai provinces and in the Golden Triangle region. In 545 AD an earthquake destroyed the capital at Nakakorn but ruins of Chiang Saen can be visited today. Thai refugees from the fall of Nan Chao settled in Yonok and controlled the area until Prince Kawila of Lanna conquered the city.

      In 757 AD Saiphong of modern north Burma led his people across the Salween River to found a fortified city. His uncle, Sinhanavati, succeeded Saiphong and started a kingdom that eventually seized cities from the Khmer empire. An earthquake submerged the capital of Singhanavatinagorn City under Chiangsaen Lake. Survivors settled eastward at Wieng-Prueksha.

      In 1262 AD King Mengrai, the 25th king of Hiran Ngoenyang, moved the capital of his consolidated kingdom to a new city called, Chiang Mai. He also made a pact of friendship with Ngam Mueng (king of Phayao) and Ramkhamhaeng (king of Sukhothai). In 1281 AD Mengrai conquered the Mon kingdom of Hariphunchai, centered at modern Lamphun. Mengrai died in 1317 AD and was followed by men of less ability.

      Prince Keuna of Chiang Saen became king and constructed the Doi Suthep temple in 1386 AD. Lanna reached its peak under King Tilokarat (1441-1487 AD). He conquered Phayao and Sukhothai in 1456 AD. Thereafter followed a war with Ayutthaya and moved his base of operations to Phitsanulok. Tilokarat also sent troops to help the king of Lan Xang (modern Laos) to oust Vietnamese occupiers.

      Lanna later alternated from being subject to Burma and Ayutthaya, with brief periods of independence. During Burmese control in 1775 AD, Kawila of Lampang (with the assistance of Ayutthaya) staged a successful revolt. He proceeded to capture Chiang Saen and Luang Prabang. Lanna remained under Ayutthayan and later Siamese control, following Burmese destruction of Ayutthaya in 1776 AD.

© Page Publisher: Duane R. Hurst